'Sectarianism in Pakistan due to narrow Sunni majoritarianism'

The persecution of Ahmaddiyas and Shias in Pakistan is happening with Constitutional support given to narrow Sunni majoritarianism

May 07, 2020

New Delhi/Islamabad: The persecution of Ahmaddiyas and Shias in Pakistan is happening with Constitutional support given to narrow Sunni majoritarianism. This observation was made by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in its latest report documenting the status of human rights in the country last year.

The Ahmadi community faces constant persecution and discrimination in eligibility to hold government positions, in contesting elections, in their lack of freedom to publish or distribute their own literature, in their businesses, and in destruction and desecration of their places of worship, the commission said. The HRCP also said that several Ahmaddiya sites of worship in Punjab were desecrated last year.

The threat of sectarian violence against the Shia Hazara community remained a major challenge in Balochistan, the rights body said. The Shia Hazara community, identified due to their facial features, was vulnerable to attacks by sectarian outfits such as Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ) and their international supporters, ISIS, the report said.

As per official data, more than 500 Hazaras have been killed and 627 injured in just five years. "The inability of the security forces to keep the Hazaras safe was evident on April 12, when a blast in the Hazarganji vegetable market killed 20 people, half of them Shia Hazaras," the commission said.

Noting that 75,000-100,000 Hazaras fled violence and left for elsewhere in the country or abroad, the HRCP said that the community lacks access to basic facilities such as healthcare and education; difficulties with registering computerised national identification cards (CNICs) and passports because authorities suspect them of being from Afghanistan.

Over the years, members of the Zikri community in southern Balochistan, especially around Gwadar, have experienced discrimination from the majoritarian Sunni community, finding it difficult to worship in their traditional ways. There are many indications that the local Sunni clerics were promoting hate speech against them, the report said.

Criticising the federal and provincial governments for their tendency to blame �enemies of the country' for sectarianism in Pakistan, the commission said this "approach ignores how sectarianism is also a homegrown problem in Pakistan, with a sort of constitutional support given to narrow Sunni majoritarianism to the exclusion of all other modes of interpreting Islam."

Pakistani politicians, the commission said, also ignore how the problem of sectarianism requires not merely security interventions, but broader political ones which establish the right of Shias and Ahmadis, to be part of Pakistan (IANS)

Post a Comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.